Monday was what used to be called Columbus Day, and what is – in 15 states across the USA, at least – now called Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It’s a kind of counter-celebration, to recognise the loss of Native American lives during colonial rule and to honour indigenous cultures, histories, and contributions to the world we know.
What better time to celebrate the contribution of indigenous groups to the preservation of our natural environment. They make up just 5% of the world’s population, but protect 80% of its biodiversity. To quote Kamea Chayne, who has made a brilliant Instagram post on indigenous environmental activism,
“Sustainability cannot be achieved while indigenous peoples, their land rights, food sovereignty, and biocultural knowledge continue to be dispossessed, marginalised and erased.”
Elsewhere, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has told finance ministers across the world that “climate change is a profound threat to growth and prosperity”. “It is macro-critical. And macroeconomic policies are central to the fight against climate change,” she said, urging countries to make green investments with COVID-19 stimulus packages. This is a great step, though many question whether we should ditch the ‘economic growth’ benchmark entirely to be truly green.
Also, the European Parliament voted to ramp up the EU’s climate target to a 60% from 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 – in line with Bangladesh’s demand that the countries within the Climate Vulnerable Forum raise their game too. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged each of these countries to submit more ambitious emissions reduction targets by the end of the year.
For Maddyness, I recently published profiles of vegan dining club SayPlants! and unsold stock sustainability solution Purple Dot. I’m just off a Zoom with Josh from CanO Water, where we talked all things aluminium, single-use plastic and David Attenborough effect. The interview will be published soon.
Beyond this, have a look at the ideas and innovations from across the spectrum of politics, social justice and big business that caught my eye this week:
If you’re still reading, here’s even more reading: